Seeing the biggest weakness on the roster last offseason, Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes addressed it aggressively with moves to sign cornerbacks Cameron Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley, then versatile defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson in free agency. In the draft, Brian Branch was added to further bolster the secondary.
Moseley had setbacks in his recovery from a torn ACL during the 2022 season, then he played two snaps for the Lions before tearing his other ACL. Gardner-Johnson suffered a torn pectoral in Week 2, and is nearing a return for the regular season finale.
Sutton has played every game, but he has zero interceptions, just four pass breakups and a 113.0 passer rating allowed this season. Jerry Jacobs has been benched in recent weeks, in favor of relative no-names like Kindle Vildor and Khalil Dorsey.
Sutton has a multi-year deal and is not going anywhere in 2024. But he has pretty much shown he's a No. 2 cornerback this year, not the No. 1 the Lions hoped he'd be.
One way or another, Holmes needs to do something about the situation at cornerback this offseason. Any available, or potentially available, veteran should be on the radar in a broad sense.
Detroit Lions rumors: Would Jaire Alexander be an offseason fit?
Last weekend, in the wake of a weird suspension for having gone out and called the coin toss in Week 16, ESPN's Adam Schefter cast some doubt on the future of cornerback Jaire Alexander with the Green Bay Packers.
"The Green Bay Packers' long-term decision regarding the future of Jaire Alexander is expected to revolve around the $8 million roster bonus owed to the star cornerback on March 20, league sources told ESPN."
Alexander signed a four-year, $84 million contract extension with the Packers in May of 2022. Cutting him or trading him in the offseason carries massive cap and dead money implications for the Packers, though a post-June 1 move would soften that significantly.
Alexander has missed nine games due to injury this season, the most recent six due to a shoulder injury that was fairly mysterious as he seemed close to a return for a couple weeks but didn't suit up. He also missed 13 games in 2021, but in between he had five interceptions and made his second career Pro Bowl in 2022.
Alexander will turn 27 on Feb. 9, so he's firmly in his prime. Should the Packers be willing to part with him, there will be teams interested and those teams only have to worry about their cost-not what it would do to Green Bay's balance sheet.
The Packers reportedly don't view Alexander as a "problem child", but it also seems they fed Schefter the information that was used about the $8 million roster bonus he's due on March 20.
For the Lions, as they may even look to make a notable trade addition at cornerback in the offseason, would be smarter to look at cheaper options than Alexander. His contract is massive, and the Packers aren't going to give him away (or outright cut him, and get nothing in return). And that leaves aside the significant time he has missed in two of the last three seasons due to injury.
Alexander is a buzzy name, on even the faint idea he could be available this offseason, and his talent is undeniable. But the Lions aren't likely to seriously pursue him if he is available, and he may be a "what if?" discussion that's already been had in the wake of Schefter's report.